Axe Advertising

Chris BeecherAdvertisement Analysis, Argument, New Voices, Previous Editions, Social Criticism

Advertising is everywhere,  and although people may think it does not have an effect on them, ads affect everyone. The average person views about 1700 banner ads in the span of a month (Morrissey). In just about 4 hours of watching television people can see about 100 ads. Most people seem to believe that ads do not affect them when in reality they do. For example, most people only buy Axe products like deodorant or body spray because of claims that it will attract women. Axe influences consumers from all around the world by trying to get them to buy their product through ethos and pathos, and setting certain ideals for men, and women.

In particular, one Axe commercial uses ethos by having angels fall from the sky. Angels are known by everyone as being good. Some of the angels in the commercial are Victoria Secret models, which makes it appealing to many men. These models are literally falling for the men in the ad just because the men are wearing the Axe body spray. So if someone in a commercial can get more than one Victoria Secret model just by wearing Axe it would make it appealing to men and make them want to buy their product. This would be considered logos because it leads the viewers to believe that if they wear Axe that they can get models like the young man in the commercial. In the advertisement, the angels were falling from heaven to be with a man just because of how he smelled.

In the article “With These Words I Can Sell You Anything” by William Lutz, he believes that commercials such as Axe use the words “new and improved” to get consumers to buy the new product even though they are all virtually the same. William Lutz says “that as long as a product has one small material function change they can claim that it is new and improved” (Lutz 123). However, the product is the same and does not make the smell of Axe stay on any longer or make people smell any better. As long as no one tries to challenge the company’s claim, then there is no one to stop it from claiming it is new and improved. Lutz uses an example of how one company had a cleaning product and added a lemon scent that did nothing to make it clean better, but the company claimed that it was new and improved. This is important because the manufacturer like Axe is trying to get people to buy their “new” product even though it is virtually the same thing.

Axe also uses pathos because the commercial uses dramatic music as if something big was going to happen. This invokes the emotion of suspense, leaving the audience wondering what is going to happen during the commercial. This dramatic music makes the viewer want to watch the commercial because they want to find out what is happening in the advertisement. Once they finish watching the commercial they see that the man who wears Axe was able to make even angels fall for him. They also used humor to get the viewer’s attention because in the beginning of the video one of the angel’s crashes and makes the people fall out of their chairs which would make the audience of the commercial laugh and grab their attention. With the music and all the angels falling to earth it grabs the viewer’s attention making them wonder what is going on.

Kim Bhasin explains how Axe sells their product through a manipulation of security. They broke down men into six categories which are known as the predator, Natural talent, marriage material, always the friend, the insecure novice, and the enthusiastic novice. Axe’s main target is always the insecure novice (Bhasin). The insecure novice is the male who has absolutely no clue what he is doing and makes things awkward fast,  also known as the geek and nerd. The company uses the insecure novice as their main target because all the other men that fall into the other categories do not need the help of a body spray to help them get women. The insecure novice on the other hand imagines he does because he has no experience with women so he will believe what the commercial tells him about women and how their product helps them get the women. Through this science, Axe became the number one male fragrance brand.

These types of commercials not only affect men but also women because they use models to portray the angels. This makes women want to live up to how beautiful the angels in the commercial really are. According to Killing Us Softly 4 by Jean Kilbourne, “for women it is all about how to look and what to do in order to look that way”(Kilbourne). But, most women do not realize that the perfect look is impossible to get. For example, in Pretty Woman, the actor Julia Roberts uses her own head but for her body they use a body double. These perfect looks cannot be achieved without some sort of editing program like Photoshop. This is important because most women and men do not realize that no one on television really looks as good as they do on television. They only look so attractive to get the consumer’s attention but in reality it is only shattering the self-esteem of women and men because they cannot look as good as society wants them to. These editing programs not only set impossible standards for women but, it causes men to have higher expectations of women everywhere.

The brand image associated  with Axe products  is very sexual most  of the time because the women are usually wearing some skimpy sort of outfit that degrades women, making it more appealing to men. Axe  targets younger men and in the ads makes women no more than sexual objects. This leads men to use women for nothing more than their pleasure. It makes them believe that they can just step all over them and it does not affect them, when in fact women have feelings too and should be treated with just as much respect as men get. Women are not here to make men happy; they are here to live their life however they want and make themselves happy.

Although advertisements might seem harmless, they do affect the way we think and how we feel about ourselves. The Axe advertisement might lead men to believe that by wearing Axe products the consumer will be able to get women with no problem. They make it as if Axe body spray will help them get any girl that they want. Axe commercials could ruin the self-esteem of women because the girls in the commercial are almost always models and then men expect to be able to get women like the ones in the commercial. Axe became the number one selling male deodorant by targeting and categorizing men into six categories. They targeted men who do not know what they are doing and made it seem that if you wear Axe you become an expert with women. With this categorizing Axe became a multi-million dollar company fragrance brand. These models do not look as good as they do in commercials it is all just editing with programs like Photoshop. Axe advertisements manipulate the consumer to buy their product through ethos and pathos, and setting certain ideals for both men and women.

Works Cited

Ali. “AXE Excite: Even Angels Will Fall.” Online Video Clip. YouTube, 22 Dec. 2010. Web. 24 October 2015.

Bhasin, Kim. “How Axe Became The Top-Selling Deodorant By Targeting Nerdy Losers.”

Business Insider. Business Inside Inc., 10 Oct. 2011. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.

Killing Us Softly 4. By Jean Kilbourne. Perf. Jean Kilbourne. Media Education Foundation, 2010. DVD.

Lutz, William. “With These Words I Can Sell You Anything.” What Matters in America. Ed.

Gary Goshgarian. 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2012. 121-126. Print.

Morrissey, Brian. “15 Alarming Stats About Banner Ads.” Digiday. Digiday, 21 March 2013. Wed. 24 Oct. 2015.